Thursday, April 28, 2011

No more freeloading

Today I looked in on the bees. Literally...I took the top off the hive and looked in. They have the comb fully drawn out in the honey super so no more feeding. They will now have to gather necter for their sugar water fix. No more freeloading!

Last night was the final class in the beginners beekeeping class. It was nice to be able to have things explained that I had only read about. I asked the teacher if bees built queen cells just for the sake of building them. He said they will sometimes build the cups just to haave them on hand but unless they need a new queen they won't have larva in them. Now I need to look for the queen again.

For anyone in Arkansas interested the contact info for instructor is...

Jon Zawislak

University of Arkansas

Cooperation Extention service

2301 University Ave.

Little Rock, AR 72204


He says email is the best way to get a good answer because he travels withhis job so much.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

One week later.....

This morning I opened up the hive for the first time in the daytime. It's been one week so I wanted to see how things were progressing and also look for the queen. After smoking them and taking the top off I looked at a few of the frames in the honey super. The comb is being drawn out nicely. I set the super off and took a couple of frames out of the brood super. This makes room for me to just slide over the rest of the frames as I inspect them. I saw capped brood cells and larva in different stages of development. Everything looked good except.......I also saw queen cells and I never found the queen. Now,not finding the queen isn't bad. Sometimes it takes even an experienced beekeeper a couple of times to find her but not finding her AND having queen cells being built means to me that I've lost my queen and they are in the process of replacing her. I'll ask the instructor Wednesday night about it. Have I mentioned I'm going to a beginners beekeeping class? It's being given by the University of Arkansas County Extension service. The instructor is the "head beekeeper" for the state. I started putting it all back and when I was trying to put the honey super back on I must have mashed some bees or angered them is some way because I got stung twice. I think it was my fault for getting complacent with the bees. I was handling the frames without gloves and the bees didn't seem to be bothered by it. I should have smoked the brood to drive the bees down and smoke the honey super to calm those bees.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Here's my hive.

I've added a picture of my hive to the header now I'm going to try to add a pic to the body of the post.

Success! See the bees with the yellow leggings? That's pollen. I've been calling them my little freeloaders because they've just been drinking the syrup in the feeder but now they are starting to forage. I've wondered if they were actually drinking that syrup or if they tiny carboys they were putting it in to make their own brew.

The bees R buzzin'

I haven't posted in a couple of days basicly because I haven't done anything except feed the little freeloaders. I did notice today when I filled the feeder that there were several landing on the hive with pollen on their legs so I know they are now starting to forage.

For those wanting viuals I tooks a couple of pictures today. the next step is figuring out how to post them on here. I suppose I'll need to upload them to Flicker and then link to them. If anyone has a better way please let me know.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day two...the facination continues

I looked first thing this morning and the feeder was nearly empty. My feeder is a quart size liquid feeder that I put a sugar water solution in. This gives the bees something to eat until they start foraging for nectar. I said "I thought they were supposed to be asleep at night, not drinking." Mom said "It was Saturday night. They spent the night drinking." So anyway, I poured in what syrup I had mixed which was about a half quart. A little after noon I refilled it again. I've read that it's a good idea to put some sort of weight on top of the hive to keep the wind from blowing it off. I have a nice English garden hive with a copper top. I didn't want some tacky looking brick on top so I came up with another idea. I tied a brick to each end of a cord then draped it over the top. I let the bricks hang just off the ground. My hive is on cinder blocks to get it up off the ground so the bricks are hardly noticeable. Tonight I put on my long sleeve white t-shirt and veil, lit the smoker and went out to open the hive. I took the top super off which had some bees in it. This is where they will store the extra honey. In the bottom super where they will raise brood was full of bees. The guy I got them from told me he gave me the second swarm he caught because the first one wasn't as big as he wanted to give me. I thought that was very nice of him. :) I need to order a few things to make the job easier. One being a frame perch so I can hang a frame or two and not have to set them on the ground. You just can't help but look at the hive even from the window. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Adventure in one

I picked up my hive today just before sundown when they had all gone in for the night. I got them home and put the honey super on with all the frames. It's dark now and I'm putting this together with my Dad holding the flash light. I didn't smoke the hive or have any protective clothing on and only got stung once. I think that was because she was on my vest and I brushed my hand aginst her. The temp was in the 50's and a 99% full moon.